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August 15, 2007

Illinois Department of Revenue warns businesses about tax ID website rip-off
Sites charge fee for connecting users to free services on IDOR website tax.illinois.gov

SPRINGFIELD – In a letter to the state’s top business associations, Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer warned businesses today about websites that charge money to connect users to services the IDOR offers for free. The Director asked the Better Business Bureau of Illinois, the Illinois Retailers Association, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations to pass along information about these websites to their members and new entrepreneurs.

“Unfortunately, misinformation can run rampant on the Internet, and businesses can be scammed into paying unnecessary fees,” said Director Hamer. “We want to make sure that anyone that chooses to do business in Illinois knows that they can find all necessary tax forms at tax.illinois.gov free of charge and can call our toll free lines with any questions they may have.”

The website www.Tax-ID-Application.info tells businesses they need to obtain an Illinois Sales Tax Resale Certificate Number and then offers it to them for a $25 fee. Businesses that use the website are frustrated to find what they get for that $25 is simply an email that contains the web address for the Illinois Department of Revenue’s free licensing site.

Similarly the www.corporate.com offers to send Illinois businesses a “Business License Compliance Package” for $75. Part of the package consists of an overview of tax registrations identified for the business, contact information, and instructions for applications.  For tax registration, all of this information can be found free on the Illinois Department of Revenue site.

Finally, http://businessnameusa.com/ connects customers to order Illinois State Tax IDs for $49 dollars. This again is a service the IDOR website offers free of charge.

Rather than unnecessarily spending money, Director Hamer alerted businesses that IDOR’s website tax.illinois.gov, is free, user-friendly, and offers answers to a wide variety of questions that new and existing businesses may have. Businesses can use the website’s e-filing capabilities to register electronically. In addition, the IDOR website features an automated Q&A system which answers a wide variety of business questions.

Text of the letter written to CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Doug Whitley, President and CEO of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Jerry Roper, Chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association William Linardos, and Steve J. Bernas, Bonnie Bakin, and Michelle L. Corey, CEOs of Illinois’ three Better Business Bureau organizations can be seen below:

I am writing today to alert you and your members about websites that are charging businesses for services which the Illinois Department of Revenue offers for free on our website:  tax.illinois.gov.  I am concerned that Illinois businesses may be ripped-off by misleading information on websites. 

The IDOR website tax.illinois.gov is free, user-friendly, and offers answers to a wide variety of questions that new and existing businesses have.  We also are regularly updating our website in response to business suggestions and changes to the law and regulations.  Our goal is to make compliance as easy as possible.   

The following websites are charging users unnecessary fees:

www.tax-id-application.info – This website informs users about when they need a State Sales Tax Certificate, and then offers to charge customers $25 to “Obtain a State Sales Tax Resale Certificate Number”. After businesses pay the website, they are sent a link to the free IDOR website tax.illinois.gov.

www.corporate.com – This site offers to send Illinois businesses a “Business License Compliance Package” for $75. All of the tax registration information on this website can be found free on the Illinois Department of Revenue site.

http://businessnameusa.com/ - This site connects customers to order Illinois State Tax Ids for $49 dollars. This again is a service that the IDOR website offers for free.

We at the Department of Revenue would like to work with you to help those that do business in Illinois follow the law and file for correct taxes. We urge you to let your members know about e-filing capabilities available on our website and send anyone with questions about tax registration or other Revenue matters to our website or to our business hotline at 217-524-4772.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Director Brian Hamer
Illinois Department of Revenue


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